Uri Davis, who has written books on apartheid and democracy in Israel and the Middle East, said Israeli bans on trade between Jewish citizens and Palestinians violated UN principles, the New Straits Times reported.

"It is a violation of human rights under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948," Davis was quoted as saying at a meeting organized by the Malaysian Social Research Institute and the Islamic Welfare Society.

Dir Yasin commemoration

The meeting on Sunday afternoon was organised to commemorate a 1948 Jewish militia attack on the Arab village of Dir
Yasin, in what is now Israel, killing more than 100 Arabs and forcing the rest to flee.

Organisers were not immediately available on Monday morning for comment.

Mostly-Muslim Malaysia and Israel do not have diplomatic ties, and leaders of this Southeast Asian country often have criticised Israel's treatment of Palestinians.

Former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad  - who outraged world leaders when he told a summit of Islamic leaders in 2003 that "Jews rule the world by proxy" - said he was barred from entering Jerusalem and the West Bank town of Jenin when he tried to visit them two weeks ago.